President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted an explanation for "language" that he was accused of using during a discussion about immigration reform in the Oval Office a day earlier.
Trump described his language as "tough" but denied calling Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations "s—hole countries." The response came following a Washington Post report that claimed meeting attendees heard the president use the derogatory language.
"Why are we having all of these people from s—hole countries com here," Trump is accused of saying during the meeting.
""Why do we need more Haitians?" Trump allegedly continued, specifically questioning the island's immigrants. "Take them out."
However, Trump claimed in his tweet that the alleged quotes did not accurately reflect what he said during the meeting.
"The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used," Trump tweeted Friday morning. "What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!"
Trump also claimed Democrats want to shut down the government, which would halt payment to military service members and government workers, in order to put pressure on Republicans and provide a "sweetheart deal" to those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
"Sadly Democrats want to stop paying our troops and government workers in order to give a sweetheart deal, not a fair deal, for DACA," Trump tweeted. "Take care of our Military, and our Country, FIRST!"
The Post reporter who broke the story responded to Trump’s denial by telling CNN hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman on "New Day" Friday that he stands by his reporting 100 percent.
"In the course of our reporting yesterday we took the comments we were going to report directly to the White House, told them exactly what we were going to say," reporter Josh Dawsey said. "We did not get a denial."
— New Day (@NewDay) January 12, 2018
Trump returned to Twitter about an hour after his initial tweets to further clarify his language, saying he never "said anything derogatory about Haitians other than Haiti is, obviously, a very poor and troubled country." He said the story was "made up by Dems" and added there was "unfortunately, no trust!"
Before his denial of the comments, Trump tweeted three other times Friday morning regarding DACA and the "so-called" bipartisan immigration bill. Trump expressed distress that wall funding was not a primary concern in the bill and said the meeting Thursday was a "big step backwards."
"The so-called bipartisan DACA deal presented yesterday to myself and a group of Republican Senators and Congressmen was a big step backwards. Wall was not properly funded, Chain & Lottery were made worse and USA would be forced to take large numbers of people from high crime…..," Trump posted in his first tweet.
Trump continued on to highlight the importance of a merit based immigration system, ensuring the safety and security for Americans, and stopping the inflow of drugs into the country. He further commented on the importance of approving a budget to fund the military as opposed to a "Dem defund."
"….Because of the Democrats not being interested in life and safety, DACA has now taken a big step backwards. The Dems will threaten "shutdown," but what they are really doing is shutting down our military, at a time we need it most. Get smart, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Trump wrote.